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I am developing a website that will deal with buy and sell mobiles business. Most of the pages of website will generate by users, for example a person A posts an ad for his used Nokia Lumia 800 and in description he mentions that mobile is in good condition etc. and at the same time another person B posts an ad for same mobile Nokia Lumia 800 and he describes his mobile almost same as Person A described, so that will generate two URLs(webpages) referring to almost same identical content.

This is what Google says about the issue (If your site contains multiple pages with largely identical content, there are a number of ways you can indicate your preferred URL to Google. (This is called "canonicalization".))

So, Google is asking me to provide preferred URL for my identical content but in my case both URLs are completely different in nature, there is identical content but both are different ads.

Note: I am not allowing users to describe condition of their mobile in long text, instead I am getting info of mobile using check boxes and drop-down menu.

Please help me that how can I deal with this situation and what is the best recommended SEO practice for this situation.

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Set your preferred domain Tell Google which version of your site's URL you prefer for your domain:

https://www.example.com
https://example.com

If you set your preferred domain as 

https://example.com, Google treats links to https://www.example.com exactly the same as links to https://example.com.

Indicate the preferred URL with the rel="canonical" link element Suppose you want

https://blog.example.com/dresses/green-dresses-are-awesome/ 

to be the preferred URL, even though a variety of URLs can access this content. You can indicate this to search engines as follows: Mark up the canonical page and any other variants with a rel="canonical" link element. Add a element with the attribute rel="canonical" to the section of these pages:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://blog.example.com/dresses/green-dresses-are-awesome" />

This indicates the preferred URL to use to access the green dress post, so that the search results will be more likely to show users that URL structure. (Note: google attempt to respect this, but cannot guarantee this in all cases.)

Avoid errors: use absolute paths rather than relative paths with the rel="canonical" link element.

  • What does preferred domain have to do with two users who post about the same phone in nearly identical terms? Using canonical tags is generally good advice, but how do you determine which content is canonical in this case? I get the feeling you didn't actually read the question before you answered. – Stephen Ostermiller Sep 28 '16 at 19:19
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A little late here but helpful I hope.

You have nothing to worry about at all whatsoever.

With all due respect the previous answer does not correct your current problem as you will not be the content writer so you will never know what a user submitting content will write.


In regards to canonical tag you are in essence saying the ORIGINAL content comes from here, which would be of no use to you in this case.

So be prepared to do a lot of cleanup and editing after they submit content.


In my view, we’re living through a massive overreaction. For some, it’s a near panic.

Remember, Google has 2,000 math PhDs on staff. They build self-driving cars and computerized glasses. Do you think they’ll ding a domain because they found a page with similar content or unoriginal text?

A huge percentage of the internet is duplicate content. Google knows this. They’ve been separating originals from copies since 1997, long before the phrase “duplicate content” became a buzzword in 2005.

Similar products are common on shopping site and marketed as similar products, tagged and used in modules as similar products, on similar product pages.

They are not getting hit with duplicate content, even when the only difference is a White Cam opposed to a Black Cam.

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